Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!
Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David!
Hosanna in highest heaven!
He entered Jerusalem, then entered the Temple. He looked around, taking it all in. But by now it was late, so he went back to Bethany with the Twelve. Mark 11:8-11 (MSG)
I was nervous the entire 35 mile trip. Finally the day had come! I was going to see Billy Joel perform in person. Having spent years listening to and singing along with Billy, this night was going to be fabulous! I hoped. Was the concert going to live up to my hyped expectations? Could Billy Joel live up to my imagination? The ride to the concert made me nervous. Concerned that the Billy Joel I was about to see could ruin the Billy Joel that I developed in my mind over years, I became irritated. Billy better not let me down, I thought. Unbeknownst to him, Billy Joel had been through a number of life changing events with me. I had some grand expectations; the potential for disappointment was high!
Jesus entered Jerusalem to the cheers of the people awaiting a deliverer—the Messiah. The news of Jesus had spread from village to village as Jesus, His band of twelve friends and the clamoring crowds followed Him from one place to the next. The word of healing, exorcism, kind teaching, and the dead raised to life could mean only one thing. Jesus was coming to take over, to end the oppressive Roman rule, to usher in a new kingdom. If Jesus could bring the dead back to life, how hard would it be to overthrow the government?
Jesus received a hero’s welcome. The shouts of “Hosanna” didn’t indicate the crowd’s worship. The shout of Hosanna was cry for deliverance—Lord save us! A victorious warrior earned palm branches as he rode home from battle. The people were ready for a king—they gave Jesus a preemptive hero’s welcome. The uncontainable shouts of joy spilled out as Jesus entered the city. The Messiah, the redeemer, the rainmaker was here to make life better!
Then Jesus looked around and left.
Has Jesus confused or disappointed you?
The oppressed people longed for freedom, longed for relief, longed for the Messiah. It wasn’t only the Romans who oppressed the Jews. The Pharisees piled on rules and rituals that made worship cumbersome and cold.
If only the Messiah Isaiah spoke of would come, this world would be better!
Then this Jesus arrives. Kind and compassionate, trivializing the persnickety Pharisees, a true man of the people; Jesus could make things better. He could be the king!
The plan of the people would have made life good. Overthrowing Rome was not a new idea. Getting rid of the Roman taxes and ending the Roman rule that amounted to slavery would make daily life more pleasant.
You see, God isn’t interested in making life good. God has a better plan.
Paul explained God’s plan this way:
No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Butit was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 1 Corinthians 2:7-10 (NLT)
The disappointing, confusing death of Christ and His resurrection opens the door for new life—real life. Don’t let the apparent silliness of God’s plan confuse or disappoint you. God has a plan that goes far beyond your imagination. It’s a plan born of love. It’s a plan complete in the smallest detail. It’s a plan that far surpasses the good you’ve imagined.
Father, help me see past my own shortsighted plan to see the BEST You have for me. When I get bogged down in the events of today, remind me of eternity and the precious gift Christ purchased with His life. Give me Your vision to see the plan You have for me. Help me rest in Your love as Your plan unfolds.
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